December 22, 2010 Edition

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WR Council discusses fire
truck, sewer extension

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge City Council adopted a budget for 2011 and agreed to sell a helicopter to pay for repairs to a fire truck at their meeting on Dec. 14. Alderman Michael "Button" Wallin told the council repairs to one of the city's fire trucks needed to be addressed immediately.

"The city has a helicopter setting at the airport collecting dust," Wallin said. "It is too expensive for us to maintain for mosquito control, and using our trucks to spray for mosquitoes does a better job because the trucks can get into alleys and other places the helicopter can't go."

He asked that the council sell the helicopter to help pay for repairs to the fire truck or replace it.

The council voted unanimously to sell the helicopter.

An ordinance authorizing the extension of city sewer lines along Highway 91 to Highway 63 was tabled pending further information from the city's engineering firm. The council hopes to have that information within a matter of days.

The depth of the lift stations, anticipated line pressure from future development and whether the proposed lines will be extensive enough for future growth are concerns to the council. Plans for the approximately $2 million dollar project have been approved by the Arkansas Department of Health and the USDA, according to the city's engineer, David Hopkins, president and engineering manager of Landmark Engineering and Surveying of Little Rock.

"We want to make sure we get everything right on this project," Wallin told the council and citizens who attended the meeting. "Then we won't have problems coming at us once it is completed."

Grant money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development has already been approved to help pay for the project, and the rest of the cost will be paid for with a bond floated by the city, according to Walnut Ridge Water Works Superintendent Lester Herring.

The city has the paperwork done and funding secured for city sewer services to be extended to the Luther Bridge, Highway 34 and Midway Road areas.

They also have a disaster drainage grant secured for an area near Captain Catfish and Walnut Street.

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